writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, New York edition

      Volume 2,  Number 8     February 23 , 2004           An online supplement to DanceView magazine

Letter from New York

23 February 2004.
Copyright © 2004 by Mindy Aloff

For the past 25 years, Theodora Skipitares has been making award-winning spectacles of puppetry, using techniques from around the world. The several productions of hers that I’ve seen tend to be optically spellbinding and aurally almost unendurable. Her scripts are disorganized and banal, the voices of her actors aren’t very interesting, and the minimalist electronic scores she uses, often for 70 minutes at a stretch, cancel out the delights that come in through the eye. What she really needs, from my perspective, is to present her puppetry in silence, with dialogue streaming electronically somewhere visible.
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Clichés of Madness

The Hamburg Ballet
City Center
New York, NY
February 20–2
2, 2004

by Gia Kourlas
copyright 2004 by Gia Kourlas
published 23 February 2004

After spending Friday night with John Neumeier’s latest full-evening catastrophe about Vaslaw Nijinsky (yes, another histrionic attempt to depict the famous dancer), I can’t help but imagine what went into his “Nijinsky File.” You know—points of inspiration for visual design and character development; I’m not referring to historical photographs or sketches of costumes or musical scores. This version of Nijinsky’s life falls into the category of trying to make insanity hot (as opposed to truly sad, which it was, or unintentionally funny, which is more often the unfortunate case). Apart from actual research—and he does reportedly have a vast collection of Nijinsky memorabilia—Neumeier seems to have had two things on his mind before he stepped into the studio with his dancers: homoerotic Calvin Klein advertisements (those featuring young men in underwear) and Adam Cooper in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (that’s his Diaghilev).
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A Valiant Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty
New York City Ballet
New York State Theater
19, 2004

by Mindy Aloff
copyright 2004 by Mindy  Aloff

published 23 February 2004

The photograph you see here is of Jenifer Ringe (with Philip Neal), the first-cast Aurora in the New York City Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty. The last two weeks of NYCB’s winter season have been given over to Beauty, and, in that time, the company is fielding five sets of principals. Several critics from The Dance View Times will be writing about the other casts next week. This review considers the first cast I was able to see, with Yvonne Borree as Aurora, Nikolaj Hübbe as Prince Désiré, Kyra Nicholas as The Fairy Carabosse, and Maurice Kaplow conducting. Before I begin, I want to give my frame of reference for critiquing this ballet.z
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New Casts in Jewels

New York City Ballet
New York State Theater
New York, NY
February 7 and February 12, 2004

by Mary Cargill
copyright 2004 by Mary Cargill

published 23 February 2004

The redesigned Jewels was the not-so-surprise hit of the season, with packed houses and cheering audiences. The earlier designs, with the chintzy parures in the background, were not a great loss, but they at least did not detract from the choreography in the way the news ones, to my mind, do.

“Emeralds” is now a mass of green nothingness, Clearly the designer wanted a nether world, either a bower or a sea bed, but the dancers, with their green costumes, fade into the background; even their skin seems to take on a greenish tinge. Despite the oppressive "Green Mansions" mood, the second cast, Rachel Rutherford with Robert Tewelsey (in a welcome return from injury), and Pascale van Kipnis with James Fayette, caught the delicate lyricism of the music. Rutherford, in the Verdy role, danced with a delicate shading and a gentle urgency; those horns were calling her away to somewhere! The difficult mime-like movements, where the hands say nothing exactly and everything allusively, were lovely. I never saw Verdy dance the role, though, and people who did are always disappointed; and yes, it is inexplicable that Verdy does not coach her part. Though some of the partnering looked a bit tentative, Tewesley had a romantic authority and plushness to his dancing that gleams with an old fashioned courtesy, so perfect for “Emeralds”.
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Pushing It

Sydney Dance Company
Joyce Theater
New York, NY
February 19, 2004

by Susan Reiter
copyright © 2004 by Susan Reiter
published February 23, 2004

The gentle swaying of a glowing oblong red lantern, as it rose slowly through the darkness up to the flies, was the opening image of Graeme Murphy's Ellipse. The introductory section, for two women who shared a mysterious symbiotic connection, was a bravely reflective and somber one. But as it progressed through its 80 minutes, Ellipse evolved into a rough-and-tumble agglomeration of teasingly tasteless costumes, excessive gymnastic exploits, and attempts at humor that veered too close to silliness.
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What's On This Week?

Balanchine 100th Birthday Events:

February 23
Balanchine's Men

The NYCB's 2004 seminar series continues with this look at Balanchine's male dancers. Arthur Mitchell, Helgi Tomasson and Edward Villella take part in this talk, moderated by one of Balanchine's most 
facinating female dancers, Violette Verdy. At 6-7:30pm.
New York State Theater Lincoln Center 66th Street and Broadway 212-

February 23
Early Experiences with George Balanchine

Barnard dance faculty Barbara Sandonato interviews her former teacher Loren London (dancer in the original cast of Balanchine's Serenade) and Barbara Weinsberger (Founder and former Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Ballet) about their early associations with Balanchine. Julius S. Held Lecture Hall, 304 Barnard Hall Barnard College 116th Street and Broadway

February 24-28 (Opened in November)
New York City Ballet

The Winter portion of the company's Balanchine Centennial Celebrationcomes to an end with the second week of Peter Martins' The Sleeping Beauty. However, George Balanchine is represented in the ballet by
his wonderfully inventive rendition of the Garland Dance, which received its premiere in 1981 during the Tschaikovsky Festival. The rest of the ballet was done by Martins after Marius Petipa. Interest will be high on Tuesday and Thursday, when Ashley Bouder takes on Aurora for the first time. Alexandra Ansanelli also debuts this week in the lead role on Wednesday. 2/24 at 8pm, 2/25 at 8pm, 2/26 at 8pm, 2/27 at 8pm, 2/28 at 2pm, 2/28 at 8pm, 2/29 at 3pm.
New York State Theater Lincoln Center 66th Street and Broadway 212-

February 24-29 and April 27-June 27 (opened January 6)
The Balanchine Centennial Exhibition at New York City Ballet
George Balanchine's career is covered in a photography exhibit curated
by company veteran Edward Bigelow.
New York State Theater Lincoln Center 66th Street and Broadway 212-

February 24-March 7 (Opened December 6)
A Celebration of George Balanchine:
Selected Television Work
George Balanchine took full advantage of the advent of television, and many of his greatest works - and performances of his dancers - have been captured on video. In this 100th-year anniversary of the great choreographer's birthday, The Museum of Television & Radio presents a series of showings of some incredible footage. The eighth installment, shown from 2/24-29, is called, Dance in America: Choreography by Balanchine, Pts. 3 & 4 Includes Chaconne (Farrell, Martins), Prodigal Son (Baryshnikov, von Aroldingen), Ballo della Regina (Ashley, Weiss), The Steadfast Tin Soldier (McBride, Baryshnikov), and Tchaikovsky Trio (von Aroldingen, Lavery, McBride, Baryshnikov, Farrell, Martins). (
1978­79; 130 minutes)
Screening Times: Tuesdays to Sunday at 12:30 pm Evening Screenings:
Thursdays at 6pm The Museum of Television & Radio 25 West
52 Street 212-621-6800

February 24-April 24 (Opened December 10)
The Enduring Legacy of George Balanchine
A multi-media exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth
of George Balanchine. It features photographs, designs, manuscript music and correspondence, costumes, set pieces, and models, along with showings of videotaped performances and rehearsals. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 212-870-1630

Ballet and Dance Events:

February 23
Movement Research at the Judson Church

This week's forum for experimentation and works-in-progress features
Mariangela Lopez's Wonders of Progress and Baggage Claim - a collaboration by Ann Robideaux and Paula Plessas. At 8pm
55 Washington Square South at Thompson Street

February 23

American Ballet Theatre dancers perform excerpts from the revival of the comic ballet, Coppelia. The production is staged by ballet legend
Frederic Franklin. At 8pm.
Guggenheim Museum
5th Avenue at 89th Street

February 23
Moving Men

An evening of work by Alberto Denis, Pedro Jimenez, Pedro Osorio and
Richard Rivera
Dixon Place at University Settlement
184 Eldridge Street at Rivinghton Street

February 23-24
An evening of works-in-progress, curated by Kimberly Brandt, features
Clare Byrne and Amy Larimer, Regina Nejman and Wendy Osserman Dance Company.
Dixon Place at Chashama
111 West 42nd Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway 212-219-0736

February 24-29
Compañía María Pagé
One of the leading
innovators in modern flamenco, Spain's María Pagés infuses her creations with modern dance technique, jazz and classical music. The first part of the program is El Perro Andaluz, Burlerias, the second part is Flamenco Republic. At 2/24-27 at 8pm, 2/28 at 2pm and 8pm, 2/29 at 2pm and 7:30pm.
The Joyce Theater 175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St. 212-242-0880 www.joyce.

February 25, 26 and March 5, 6
Barcelona in 48 Hours

A collaboration between choreographer David Zambrano, photgrapher Anja
Hitzenberger and composer Edward Ratliff. At 7pm.
Dance Theater Workshop
219 West 19th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues

February 26-29
Eva Dean Dance
Known for its vibrant and imaginative repertory, the Brooklyn-based Eva Dean Dance perform its critically acclaimed work Bounce. In this
unique, theatrical, dry-land water ballet, dancers move on and with plentiful colored balls creating a world of serene orbiting planets and a wickedly fun
Joyce Soho
155 Mercer Street between Houston and Prince Streets

February 27-March 7
If You Go Down to the Woods Today

Cas Public
Five dancers provoke and protect one another in six different stories,
from the silly to the startling.
The New Victory Theater
209 West 42nd Street

February 28
Israel Non-Stop

Presented by the JCC in Manhattan for the third year in a row,
Israel Non-Stop is a look at Israeli art and culture. This year's
edition features a double bill of music and dance. One of Israel’s brightest young choreographers, Emanual Gat brings to New York a new dance and music collaboration with the Arab-Israeli rap group MWR. At 8pm.
Symphony Space
2537 Broadway

February 26-29
Goodbye to old thing
Jennifer Allen premieres Goodbye to old things, a series of solos for
superheroines. 2/26-28 at 8:30pm, 2/29 at 7:30pm.
St. Mark's Church in the Bowery
Second Avenue at 10th Street

February 26-March 6 (Opened January 15)
Wow Moves Dance Fest
The festival closes with three weeks of Slain, a multidisciplinary dance piece which explores female orgasm, hysteria, and being slain in the spirit. Dora Arreola choreographs and Andrea Assaf and Arreola co-direct this new work, conceived and created by Parker Pracjek. At 8 pm.
Wow Cafe Theater
59-61 East 4th Street between Bowery and Second Avenue
4th Floor

February 28-29
New York Theatre Ballet presents one of their chamber-sized ballets
for children and families in a production choreographed by Donald Mahler.
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street

— Dale Brauner






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This weeks' articles


Mindy  Aloff's Letter from New York

The Balanchine Celebration
New York City Ballet:
A Veteran and a Raw Recruit
by Mindy Aloff

Heart and Soul
by Mary Cargill

Kid Stuff
Cas Public's If You Go Down To the Woods Today
by Susan Reiter

San Francisco Ballet:
New Wheeldon (Rush)
by Rita Felciano

New Tomasson (7 For Eight)
by Paul Parish

Possokhov's New Firebird for OBT
by Rita Felciano

Moscow Festival Ballet and Scott Wells
by Paul Parish

Hamburg Ballet's Nijinsky:
Nijinsky—Lost in the Chaos
by Clare Croft

NijinskyMadness and Metaphor
by Alexandra Tomalonis

Nijinsky and the Ballets Russes
by George Jackson

Batsheva: Breaking Down Walls
by Lisa Traiger

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence
by Clare Croft

Choreographers Showcase
by Tehreema Mitha

Zoltan Nagy
by George Jackson






Mindy Aloff
Dale Brauner
Mary Cargill
Nancy Dalva
Gia Kourlas
Gay Morris
Susan Reiter
Alexandra Tomalonis(Editor)
Meital Waibsnaider
Leigh Witchel
David Vaughan


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